To book a Class 4, 5 or 7 MOT with us either call us on 01536 411314  or book here.

What is an MOT?

The Ministry of Transport test (usually abbreviated to MOT test) is an annual test of automobile safety, roadworthiness aspects, and exhaust emissions required in Great Britain for most vehicles over three years old that are used on anything defined as a road in the Road Traffic Act.

An MOT test is carried out by one person only and usually takes around an hour in total to complete. The MOT test does not include any servicing of the car and is a minimum safety check to make sure the vehicle is legally safe for the road. After the test is complete and the vehicle passes the MOT, you may be advised by the mechanic that the vehicle is required to have certain aspects serviced or changed. For example: if the vehicle’s tyres are all close to the minimum required tread depth of 1.6mm, the mechanic that has done the test for the vehicle may advise a tyre change that same day. This also goes for any other parts on the car that may be old and worn. However, it is important to remember that for a vehicle to pass an MOT it must pass the minimum required legal “safeness” to be driven on the road.

Important Reminders
For any vehicle to undergo an MOT test it MUST have the chassis number. Without this, the vehicle may likely be cloned and can be void from the test. Without the chassis number, it is NOT roadworthy and can consequently be seized by law.

In the first section of the test are all the interior checks. These include seats, seatbelts, warning lamps, switches, wipers, washers, brake controls, clutch, accelerator pedal, steering wheel and column, doors, mirrors, horn, speedometer and in some cases, driver controls for class 5 vehicles.

  • Lights (including headlamps, fog lights, indicators and brake lights) are all checked from the inside of the vehicle. The mechanic operates each lever and pedal whilst looking at a front mirror and rear mirror located on the garage walls.
  • All other aspects are checked through the operation of each item which for example involves using windscreen wipers and wash fluid to clean the window; any smears or marks must be gone with the use of the wiper blades; pulling of seatbelts and making sure they retract; and also the pressing of the horn making sure there is a loud and clear response.

In the second section are all the exterior checks. These include registration plates, lamps, aim of headlamps, wheels, tyres, shock absorbers, mirrors, fuel tank cap, doors, boot lid, bonnet, towbars and overall condition of the bodywork.

  • Plate checks involve making sure that they are securely fastened in the correct place and position with each screw also being positioned away from any lettering to prevent misinterpretation of the registration number.
  • Lamp checks involve making sure each bulb works as required and functions in the correct way. Each lamp must also be at the correct visibility in order to be legally safe on the road. Reflectors must be intact and not damaged or smashed in any way.
  • Headlight positioning must be altered if the angle and height of the lamps are either too high or too low. The correct height of the lamps should be 850mm from the ground to prevent blinding other drivers while still maintaining a safe beam of light to aid vision in the dark.
  • For checks on wheels and tyres, the vehicle is placed on a lift. The vehicle is positioned with its wheels on shake plates so that it can be moved backwards and forwards quickly to check excessive movement. All wheels must stay secure whilst the tyres themselves allow for movement. When the vehicle is lifted above head height, all shock absorbers and casing must not be damaged and fuel lines and drive shafts must not be cracked or exposed completely.
  • When checking under the bonnet the car is brought down to floor level whilst remaining on the shake plates. Whilst being moved vigorously, all parts in the engine must not move around or come loose. Any excessive movement under the bonnet or the body of the car could result in test failure.
  • With regards to rusting and corrosion, it must be 0.25mm deep for it to affect the parts of the vehicle. However, measuring corrosion can be subjective and in some cases may not be as serious as you think. Remember that it can also be a build-up of dirt and oil which can easily be removed.
  • The last part of an MOT is to check emissions and braking effectiveness. Petrol vehicles are checked with a probe which is placed in the exhaust pipe. The vehicle is then maintained at around 3000 rpm for 1 minute. Diesel vehicles are maintained at around the same to almost 3/4 full rpm. Diesel vehicles are checked with a smoke machine until the computer says stop. Brake tests are either done on a rolling road for normal vehicles or outside in an empty car park for 4x4s to prevent severe damage to the drive shafts.

MOT Checklist
The MoT looks at many parts of your car to ensure they meet key legal requirements at the time of the test. The MoT Test will make sure:

  • The body and vehicle structure are free from excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas and there are no sharp edges likely to cause injury.
  • The fuel system has no leaks and the fuel cap fastens and seals securely. The fuel cap will need to be opened so be sure the key is available.
  • The exhaust meets the requirements for exhaust emissions, depending on the age and fuel type of the vehicle.
  • The exhaust system is secure, complete, without serious leaks and silences effectively.
  • Seat belts are checked for type, condition, operation and security. All compulsory seat belts must be in place.
  • Seats are secure. Front and rear backrests can be secured in the upright position.
  • Doors latch securely in the closed position. Front doors should open from inside and outside the vehicle rear doors may need to be opened to gain access to testable items.
  • Mirrors are in place, in good condition and secure.
  • The boot or tailgate can be secured in the closed position.
  • The brakes are in good condition and the operation and performance (efficiency test) is satisfactory. Note the removal of the road wheels is not part of the test.
  • The tyres and wheels are in good condition, secure, of the correct size and type and tread depth is sufficient. Spare tyres are not inspected.
  • The registration plates are in good condition and secure and the characters are correctly formed and spaced.
  • The lights are in operational condition and secure. Headlamps are tested for aim.
  • The bonnet securely latches in the closed position.
  • Wipers and washers operate to give the driver a clear view ahead.
  • The windscreen is in good condition and the driver’s view of the road is clear.
  • The horn operates correctly and is of a suitable type.
  • Steering and suspension are of satisfactory condition and operation.
  • The vehicle identification number (VIN) is on vehicles first used on or after 1 August 1980. No more than one different VIN is displayed except on multistage build vehicles.

As a member of the Good Garage Scheme, you can be confident that the work your car needs will be carried out to the highest standards by highly trained technicians and covered by our 12,000 mile/12-month parts and labour warranty for extra peace of mind.

To find out more about our MOT in Kettering, get in touch online or call us directly on 01536 411314

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6 Linnell Way
Telford Way Industrial Estate
NN16 8PS
01536 411314

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Monday 08:30 - 17:30
Tuesday 08:30 - 17:30
Wednesday 08:30 - 17:30
Thursday 08:30 - 17:30
Friday 08:30 - 17:30
Saturday Closed
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